PALLEKELE: A change in batting order almost cost India the second ODI against Sri Lanka before they scraped through on Friday but Indian cricket team captain Virat Kohli said he has no regrets about his decision as any skipper would have wanted to give a chance to other batsmen in that situation.
From 113 for 1 in the 17th over, India were reduced to 131 for 7 in the 22nd over with mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya taking six wickets in a sensational spell and the visiting side were looking down the barrel.
But a 100-run partnership between Mahendra Singh Dhoni (45 not out) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (53 not out) for the unbroken eighth wicket ensured that India beat Sri Lanka by three wickets and go up 2-0 in the five-match series.
As India were cruising at a brisk pace in the beginning of their run chase (231 from 47 overs under Duckworth-Lewis method), Kohli made changes in the batting order with himself coming down to fifth slot from his usual one-down spot.
But asked about this after the match, Kohli said he has no regrets about his decision to change the batting order.
“When you’re 110 for 1 in a chase of 230, you want to give everyone a chance to bat. I don’t have any regrets. If I had come at No. 3, I would have still missed that ball because he (Akila Dananjaya) was bowling that well,” Kolhi, who was dismissed for just four runs, said.
“It was quite an exciting game of cricket, fans and players must have been entertained. It is good for us to come through eventually. Two 100-run partnerships in a chase of 230 with seven wickets, that’s quite bizarre. This kind of thing does not happen in this game often,” he added.
He gave credit to unheralded mystery spinner Akila Dananjaya, who took six for 54 from his 10 overs to wreck havoc of the Indian innings.
“We thought he was the off-spinner with a good leg-break, but he got four wickets off googlies. We’ll be more careful next time. Credit to him for pitching the ball in the right areas.”
Dananjaya, who got married yesterday only, got the man- of-the-match award.
“The off-spin was working, so continuously used the variations. I came back to the hotel at around 11pm last night,” he said.